Every day, countless children across the globe turn up for school on an empty stomach, which makes it hard to focus on lessons. Many simply do not go, as their families need them to help in the fields or around the house.
For all of them, a daily school meal can mean not only better nutrition and health, but also increased access to and achievement in education. It is also a strong incentive to consistently send children to school.
In 2017, WFP implemented or supported school meals programmes in 71 countries. It directly provided school meals to 18.3 million children in 60 countries. It also built the capacities of 65 governments, which led to improved national school meals programmes for another 39 million children.
Programme particulars vary between the provision of breakfast or lunch, or both. Some programmes provide complete meals, while others distribute fortified, high-energy biscuits or nutritious snacks, such as date bars. Food and/or cash rations are handed out to families as incentives to keep children in school on condition that they attend regularly.